Ayush Kasliwal is one of the leading design thinkers and practitioners of Indian craftsmanship from Jaipur, Rajasthan. He is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and runs an interdisciplinary practice along with his wife, Geetanjali Kasliwal from Jaipur, India. They run the studio AKFD and Anantaya which works with understanding and preserving the tradition of Indian craftsmen. They have a wide variety of products ranging from wall decor, furniture, and cushions.
Ayush Kasliwal has mentioned in various interviews how Indian history and craftsmanship has been an inspiration for his designs. His contemporary take on traditional crafts has helped in keeping the local artisans’ community happy and also created many iconic artworks such as the ‘Mudra installation at the T3 Delhi International airport, the kiosks at T2 in Mumbai International Airport to name a few. He believes that “Objects are messages in physical form” which truly reflects in his work.
1. The Lotus Lamp
The lotus lamp is one of the iconic creations of Anantaya studios, it is made of iron and cotton/linen. The lamp is of two types one that is a wall hanging and the other being a stand. The lotus lamp is inspired by the lotus and gives the traditional form a modern touch as a part of our everyday life.
2. The Kalam Table
The Kalam Table series is a series of hand-painted tables. The Kalam table is functional art, the Kalam is a functional tool used to paint the tables. Each table has a story to tell and the table acts like the tray found in households to serve guests. The table is made of mango wood and iron which helps to keep the stability with the help of the 3 legged stands.
3. Annabelle Table
The Annabelle table is an extended artistic interpretation of a three-legged table, the black sandblasted Sheesham wood is the basis of the art form of the table. The small tabletop is balanced using the legs of the table that are supporting each other and the entire table. This avant-garde table makes a big attraction for a small occasion. The table does look like a conventional table and is a beautiful sculpture of a table.
4. Ranthambore Nesting Table
Named after the famous Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary, the twin table set made of Sheesham wood is made to be symbolic of sturdiness and style. These elegant pairs of tables are nesting among each other and are quite detailed in their make and pose like two birds.
5. Corset Chair
The corset chair is a lounge chair woven with a chevron seat belt on the wooden Sheesham frame. The chair adapts to the shape of the person sitting on it and is extremely comfortable and stylish. The name corset comes from the ancient garment that takes the shape of the body it is worn in.
6. Skin lamp
The skin lamp is made of brass, leather, and cast iron. The simplistic design of the lamp is what makes it an elegant and outstanding element. The red color of the brass makes it an eye-catching element to own and although it looks simplistic, the materials used make it artistic and beautiful.
7. Kutta Billi
“Age is just a number”, taking this famous quote up a notch, Ayush Kasliwal makes the ‘Kutta and billi’ toys that are used to play made out of mango wood and leather. These are playful puzzles that use magnets to attach the pieces that are body parts together. They can be attached in any way to give the animal movement. These toys from the ‘Ke Ki Ka” collection encourage everyone to play around with these elements.
8. Morbi birdbath
The birdbath or bird water pan is a commonly found element in most Indian households, the ‘Morbi birdbath is an elegant sophisticated version of the traditional birdbath made of brass and marble. The graceful floating marble bowl, framed by an elegant brass ring is suspended and weighed down by a marble ‘drop’. Balanced together in rhythmic combination can adorn your outdoors or the balcony inviting birds to quench their thirst, perch or swing.
9. Dhobi Taut Stool
Inspired by the lightness of the ‘Dobi or washerman” is a light weighing stool made of woven jute and iron. The stool is stacked in an octagonal frame. Ayush Kasliwal uses woven ‘tautly’ with cords reminiscent of the washerman’s clothesline. The lightness and compactness of these chairs make them easy to carry around and used as a stool.
10. Leather strapped lounge chair
The leather-strapped lounge chair uses leather cords traditionally used as gear belts used in sewing machines and is used as a frame in this lounge chair. The frame is made of acacia wood and provides sturdiness to the chair and helps highlight the linear pattern to the wooden chair. The leather chair is very visually transparent and hence when a person sits on it almost looks levitating.